Conan Premiere Pokes Fun

Conan O’Brien has returned to late-night television with his season premiere of Conan on TBS. Fans welcomed him with a long roar of applause, to which he tapped on his watch and joked, “Please, come on. That (applause) lasted longer than my last job.” As expected, he fired shots at NBC, where the reins to Conan’s coveted 11:35 p.m. spot were handed back to Jay Leno last January of 2010. The switch to TBS came from Conan’s refusal to take the 12:05 a.m. start on NBC. Ironically, his move to basic cable means Canadians still have to wait until 12:05 a.m. to catch Conan on the Comedy network or if you are a night owl you can catch him at 1:05 am on CTV. As he introduced his first show back, he explained why he called it Conan, “I did it so I would be harder to replace.”

Conan, who is 47, chose fellow Zoomer, Arlene Wagner, curator of the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum in Washington, to be his Mystery First Guest. Conan’s attempt to have more “regular people” on the show was ineffectual. Wagner, with her short, white hair and bright smile, was on air for a total of 30 seconds, while walking across the stage followed by a giant Nutcracker on wheels. Andy Richter joked, “I don’t think that anyone briefed her.”

Instead, the focus was on special guest Seth Rogen, as he discussed his personal smoking habits and how “anyone can get a medicinal marijuana card.” Lea Michele, star of Fox’s musical series Glee, was also on the show.Perhaps Team Coco is aiming towards a younger target audience for the new show. Whatever it takes to stick around.

–Charlotte Bumstead